How to Install Carpet

Carpet remains one of the most popular and versatile of all floor coverings. Almost every home has wall-to-wall carpet in at least a few rooms. It’s available in an almost endless variety of colors, styles, and patterns. It can also be custom made to express a more personal design.

Most carpet is nylon-based, although acrylic and polyester are also popular. Wool carpeting is more formal and more expensive but also quite popular. All are suitable for basement installation, but avoid carpet with a thick pile.

Wall-to-wall carpet is usually installed with a pad beneath it, although some are sold with a preattached foam pad. Carpet with a preattached pad tends to be of lesser quality, but some prefer it for basements because it does not require stretching and tacking so it can be removed quickly if need be and reinstalled with little difficulty. If you are installing a carpet pad, choose one that is made of waffle-pattern rubber rather than one that is fiber-based (the less absorbent the pad is, the better).

Now I will teach you about laying carpets with every detail I have learned and found it in all my carer, keep reading.

Pros

Part of carpet’s appeal is its soft texture. It’s pleasant to walk on—especially with bare feet since it’s soft and warm underfoot—and comfortable for children to play on. It is a great way to warm up a cold basement floor. Because carpet has a pad underneath that acts as a cushion, carpet can help reduce “floor fatigue.”

Before Starting

Buying & Estimating Carpet

When choosing a carpet, one thing to consider is color and pattern. Lighter shades and colors show dirt and stains more readily, but they provide an open, spacious feel. Darker colors and multicolored patterns don’t show as much dirt or wear, but they can also make a room appear smaller.

The materials used in a carpet and its construction can affect the carpet’s durability. In high-traffic areas, such as hallways and entryways, a top-quality fiber will last longer. Carpet construction, the way in which fibers are attached to the backing, impacts resistance to wear and appearance.

Available widths of certain carpets may affect your buying decision; a roll that’s wide enough to cover an entire room eliminates the need for seaming. When seaming is unavoidable, calculate the total square footage to be covered, then add 20 percent to cover trimming and seaming.

The type of carpet will dictate the type of pad you should use. Check carpet sample labels for the manufacturer’s recommendations. Since carpet and padding work in tandem to create a floor covering system, use the best pad you can afford that works with your carpet.

In addition to making your carpet feel plusher underfoot, the pad makes your floor quieter and warmer. A high-quality pad also helps reduce carpet wear.

Tips for Evaluating Carpet

Fiber
Type
Characteristics
Nylon Easy to clean, Very durable, Good stain resistance,
Colors sometimes fade in direct sunlight.
Polyester Excellent stain resistance, Very soft in thick cut-pile constructions, colors don’t fade in sunlight.
Olefin virtually stain and fade-proof, resists moister and static, not as resilient as nylon or as soft or as polyester.
Acrilyc Resembles wool in softness and look, good moisture resistance, less durable than other synthetics.
Wool Luxurious look and feel, good durability and warmth, more costly and less stain-resistant than synthetics.

Labels on the back of samples usually tell you the fiber composition, the available widths (usually 12 or 15 feet), what antistain treatments and other finishes were applied, and details of the product warranty

Tools & Materials

  • Measuring tape
  • Seam irom
  • Edge Trimmer
  • Hammer
  • Aviation Strips
  • Stapler
  • Duct Tape
  • Utility Knife
  • Power Stretcher
  • Chalk Line
  • Knee-Kicker
  • Scissors
  • Seam tape
  • Double-Sided Carpet Tape
  • Tackless Strips
  • Carpet Padding

Planning for Carpet Installation

Before installing or laying any type of carpets I need to make sure that the installation will be right, easy, and good, for this you must:

Keep pile direction consistent. Carpet pile is usually slanted, which affects how the carpet looks from different angles as light reflects off the surface. Place seamed pieces so the pile faces the same direction.

Maintain patterns when seaming patterned carpet. Because of this necessity, there’s always more waste when installing patterned carpet. For a pattern that repeats itself every 18″, for example, each piece must be oversized 18″ to ensure the pattern is aligned. Pattern repeat measurements are noted on carpet samples.

At seams, add an extra 3″ to each piece when estimating the amount of carpet you’ll need. This extra material helps when cutting straight edges for seaming.

Add 6″ for each edge that’s along the wall. This surplus will be trimmed away when the carpet is cut to the exact size of the room.

Measure from the closet wall to the closet door. Closet floors are usually covered with a separate piece of carpet that’s seamed to the carpet in the main room area.

How to Lay Carpet

Starting in a corner, nail tackless strips to the floor, keeping a gap between the strips and the walls that’s about 2/3 the thickness of the carpet. Use plywood spacers. Angled pins on the strip should point toward the wall.

Roll out enough padding to cover the entire floor. Make sure the seams between the padding are tight. If one face of the padding has a slicker surface, keep the slick surface face up, making it easier to slide the carpet over the pad during installation.

Use a utility knife to cut away excess padding along the edges. The padding should touch but not overlap the tackless strips.

Tape the seams together with duct tape, then staple the padding to the floor every 12″.

Position the carpet roll against one wall, with its loose end extending up the wall about 6″, then roll out the carpet until it reaches the opposite wall.

At the opposite wall, mark the back of the carpet at each edge about 6″ beyond the point where the carpet touches the wall. Pull the carpet back away from the wall so the marks are visible.

Snap a chalk line across the back of the carpet between the marks. Place a scrap piece of plywood under the cutting area to protect the carpet and padding from the knife blade. Cut along the line using a straightedge and utility knife.

Next to walls, straddle the edge of the carpet and nudge it with your foot until it extends up the wall by about 6″ and is parallel to the wall.

At the corners, relieve buckling by slitting the carpet with a utility knife, allowing the carpet to lie somewhat flat. Make sure that corner cuts do not cut into usable carpet.

Using your seaming plan as a guide, measure and cut fill-in pieces of carpet to complete the installation. Be sure to include a 6″ surplus at each wall and a 3″ surplus on each edge that will be seamed to another piece of carpet. Set the cut pieces in place, making sure the pile faces in the same direction on all pieces.

Rollback the large piece of carpet on the side to be seamed, then use a chalk line to snap a straight seam edge about 2″ from the factory edge.

Keep the ends of the line about 18″ from the sides of the carpet where the overlap onto the walls causes the carpet to buckle.

Using a straightedge and utility knife, carefully cut the carpet along the chalk line. To extend the cutting lines to the edges of the carpet, pull the corners back at an angle so they lie flat, then cut the line with the straightedge and utility knife. Place scrap wood under the cutting area to protect the carpet while cutting.

On smaller carpet pieces, cut straight seam edges where the small pieces will be joined to one another. Don’t cut the edges that will be seamed to the large carpet piece until after the small pieces are joined together.

Plugin the seam iron and set it aside to heat up, then measure and cut hot-glue seam tape for all seams. Begin by joining the small fill-in pieces to form one large piece. Center the tape under the seam with the adhesive side facing up.

Set the iron under the carpet at one end of the tape until the adhesive liquifies, usually about 30 seconds. Working in 12″ sections, slowly move the iron along the tape, letting the carpet fall onto the hot adhesive behind it. Set weights at the end of the seam to hold the pieces in place.

Press the edges of the carpet together into the melted adhesive behind the iron. Separate the pile with your fingers to make sure no fibers are stuck in the glue and the seam is tight, then place a weighted board over the seam to keep it flat while the glue sets.

Continue seaming the fill-in pieces together. When the tape adhesive has dried, turn the seamed piece over and cut a fresh seam edge as done in step 7. Reheat and remove about 1-1/2″ of tape from the end of each seam to keep it from overlapping the tape on the large piece.

Use hot-glue seam tape to join the seamed pieces to the large piece of carpet, repeating steps 14 through 17.

If you’re laying carpet in a closet, cut a fill-in piece and join it to the main carpet with hot-glue seam tape.

Before stretching the seamed carpet, read through this entire section and create a stretching sequence similar to the one shown here. Start by fastening the carpet at a doorway threshold using carpet transitions. If the doorway is close to a corner, use the knee kicker to secure the carpet to the tackless strips between the door and the corner. Also secure a few feet of carpet along the adjacent wall, working toward the corner.

Use a power stretcher to stretch the carpet toward the wall opposite the door. Brace the tail with a length of 2 × 4 placed across the doorway. Leaving the tail in place and moving only the stretcher head, continue stretching and securing the carpet along the wall, working toward the nearest corner in 12 to 24″ increments.

As you stretch the carpet, secure it onto the tackless strips with a stair tool and hammer.

With the power stretcher still extended from the doorway to the opposite side of the room, knee-kick the carpet onto the tackless strips along the closest wall, starting near the corner closest to the stretcher tail. Disengage and move the stretcher only if it’s in the way.

Reposition the stretcher so its tail is against the center of the wall you just secured. Stretch and secure the carpet along the opposite wall, working from the center toward a corner. If there’s a closet in an adjacent wall, work toward that wall, not the closet.

Use the knee kicker to stretch and secure the carpet inside the closet (if any). Stretch and fasten the carpet against the back wall first, then do the side walls. After the carpet in the closet is stretched and secured, use the knee kicker to secure the carpet along the walls next to the closet. Disengage the power stretcher only if it’s in the way.

Return the head of the power stretcher to the center of the wall. Finish securing carpet along this wall, working toward the other corner of the room.

Reposition the stretcher to secure the carpet along the last wall of the room, working from the center toward the corners. The tail block should be braced against the opposite wall.

Use a carpet edge trimmer to trim surplus carpet away from the walls. At corners, use a utility knife to finish the cuts.

Tuck the trimmed edges of the carpet neatly into the gaps between the tackless strips and the walls using a stair tool and hammer.

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